Besoms and Broomsticks

Few household tools have as much magickal lore and mysticism attached to them as the broom. Images of Witches flying on broomsticks are as synonym as pointy hats and robes and every story ever told has a Witch and her broom. Now the difference between the broomstick and the besom is in its use.

Broomsticks are used mainly for transportation and to play Quidditch. There are many models to choose from, usually differing in speed, aerodynamics and balance depending on it’s main function, recreational or professional sports and travel. So does the price… Few build their own broomstick these days.

The Besom however is a ritualistic tool and used to spiritually cleanse the home of a Witch and cast out negative energies as they sweep away dust.

With this broom, I sweep away all negativity that comes my way!

The besom does not actually have to touch the ground when sweeping out your sacred space or home, as it is sweeping energy. It can also protect from psychic attacks, crossed brooms hung on or near a door protect from ill will and hexes and stepping over the broom will stop any harassment by unfriendly spirits as will if you stand it bristle up by your front door. Do not leave your besom standing with its bristles down as it will allow the Magick to drain out and warp its shape. Hang it a few inches over the floor if pointing down.

It is said to make a wish before picking up a broom that has fallen from your hand and before its first use. If a broom standing at your door falls over for no reason it is fabled to announce visitors and jumping over the broom nine times will get you married within the year, it is also a Hand-fasting ritual to jump over the besom together as is jumping over the bonfire.

Besoms can be of any size you choose, if bought or given, be sure to cleanse it with herbs or smoke to clear the vibes of the last user. Hang your herbs directly onto the broom to dry and draw out energy you don’t want and infuse your energy instead. Making your own besom is a good way to connect with it. Embellish it with flowers and crystals or feathers. Once ready you can bless it with salted water and by setting it out under a full moon to be blessed by the Goddess. Give it your aura and it will do your bidding.

Three ritual sweepings should be performed each year, at Imbolc for the traditional spring cleaning, as we enter autumn at Mabon, to clear the home before we gather ourselves in for winter, and sweeping out the old year at Halloween/Samhain to get rid of unwanted energies.

Sweep, sweep, sweep the ground. 
Negative energy shall be bound. 
Banish all harm, spoil and pain,
Only positive shall remain! 
As I will it so mote it be!

Although the broom has derived from the every day use broom to clean and cleanse the home and garden, the besom as ritualistic cleansing tool and the broomstick as travel or sports companion, each hold a special place in the heart of the Witch who owns it today and care should be taken never to grab or touch a Witches personal broom unless invited to do so. It has become as individual as the Witch itself and does not appreciate being mishandled. It will give its allegiance almost like a Wand chooses its magickal partner, it becomes one with the Witch and can “read” her slightest movement to interpret her wishes on how or where she wants it to go. So choose your broom with care…


Spring Equinox – Ostara Activities

The Spring Equinox -Ostara Festival is the celebration of rebirth and renewal of Mother Nature and concentrates on all things growing and budding as the wheel of the year turns and the sun grows stronger. It is the time when dark and light are in balance again and the awakening of the fertile juices of the Earth flowing and starting to create new life.

Symbols to identify with this period of time are spring flowers, eggs, chicks, lambs and bees, as they all reemerge after the long sleep of winter and are the first to emerge to new life. This is the time I love to go out and observe this rebirth with my own eyes.

There are some great activities for solitary Witches, Covens or families to do at this time to get into the spirit of Ostara:

Taking long walks in the sunshine, as it gets warmer and noticing the change in the trees and fields is so refreshing and invigorating. I keep my eyes peeled for interesting gifts from Gaia and I collect some fresh supple branches to make wreaths. A few years ago a friend of mine found a tiny little nest with an egg in her yard after a storm, the egg was still intact but barren, she knew I would love to have it and so she saved it for me. I used this beautiful gift in one of my wreaths to honor Eostre the Goddess of Spring and give the tiny nest its own rebirth as symbol of renewal for my celebration of the season.

I also found a few things over time, a dead bee, that got stuck on the window screen, a California black bumble bee, I had never seen a black one before, on the floor in the yard after a cold spell and a wasp nest inside our electrical box, it was already abandoned. I kept these tokens and this year I made a new wreath using these items to make my moon wreath. I had seen pictures of these moon wreaths and have been meaning to make one for ages. The time had come to bring it into being and I love it. It came out just perfect, I also used the broken off pieces from my spring flower arrangement, that I saved and I had some yellow and green ribbon left over from a previous project. So this wreath really did not cost me anything, but a little time, those are the best projects.

Baking is another activity I love to do and around this time I always make the “OsterZopf” a traditional sweet bread from home, but last year I decided to make hot cross buns instead, to mix it up a bit and they came out well. In a way the taste is very similar to our Zopf, most of the ingredients were the same, and it was fun.

Coloring Eggs is almost a must for Spring Equinox and trying to do it with natural colorants derived from veggies and fruits is fun and sustainable, if you are not into that, you can still use egg shells to paint and decorate. Everyone can do it and it makes for a great activity for kids as well as adults. You can use eggs and eggshells in your garden too, to plant seeds and use to plant wishes and see them grow and develop both physically as the plant grows over it as well as metaphysically as your dreams become reality. It is a good way to inspire you to work on a plan and set things into motion after making a wish to bring it into reality.

If you have a farm or petting barn close by, go see the young animals and try your hand at drawing and painting them for an art project you can use as decoration on your altar. It does not have to be perfect as long as it has meaning for you. Tending and spending time with the animals is also good for the soul and reconnects you to the natural world.

So you see, there is lots to do as you get ready for the growing season. As I said many times before, getting your hands dirty with arts and crafts heals your heart and recharges your soul in a way few things can. Gardening and spending time in the woods and fields, or parks brings us closer to Earth and our ancestors of old, to have a glimpse of what it was like when you had to grow and build your own and find that exhilarating feeling of connection is priceless.

Read all about the festival of the Spring Equinox – Ostara following the link here to find out more about it.

The Chalice

A tool of the element of Water, it symbolizes the womb of the Goddess from which all power flows. It is used to hold sacred water, libations and potions for rituals or offerings. Combined with the Athame it represents the act of procreation and evokes universal creativity.
The chalice, latin “calix”, or goblet is a footed cup, and its ritualistic use is documented all the way back to the ancient Neanderthal cultures, in the holy man’s drafts for meditation and medicine women potions. It has held a special post as sacred vessel throughout history. The Holy Grail, being the most notorious of goblets, leaves a trail of mystery and mysticism, it also encompasses a kind of blood magic as it holds the blood of Christ which when offered acts as purification, initiation and salvation.

It is no coincidence that JK Rowling choose the Goblet of Fire as the impartial selector of the Triwizard champions, by sorting and rating the abilities and power of the contestants. The flame filled cup is a nudge to ancient Greek and Roman sacred fires in temples, and to the Olympic Fire that symbolizes the light of Spirit, Knowledge and Life. Her use of the Pensieve is also a reminder of the Chalice. A Pensieve is a wide shallow dish made of metal or stone, often elaborately decorated or inlaid with precious stones, and carrying powerful and complex enchantments. It is used to recreate memories so that they become re-liveable, taking every detail stored in the subconscious and recreating it faithfully. The silvery light inside the basin’s contents looks like "light made liquid – or like wind made solid". Another famous basin with mystical abilities to see things that were, and things that are, and things that yet may be, is the Mirror of Galadriel, a basin filled with water...

A Chalice may be used in various ways and it may have different sizes to accommodate the Witches needs, or she may have more than one. In any case the Chalice most connected to your craft would have to be linked to you by consecrating it especially (all tools should be cleansed and charged before use), also it should not be touched or used by others without specific invitation.

The Chalice is used on your altar to hold potions, drafts and libations, for honoring the Goddess and yourself. It can also serve to charge MoonWater, cleanse crystals, represent the Element Water and hold liquids for scrying and divination. The material the Chalice is made out of is as varying as the uses it may have in your Craft. It can be as simple and humble as a stone or wood cup, or as ornate and precious as glass or precious metals and stones. You will be drawn to a cup or vessel and know it as your Chalice, or you may make it yourself, carving it out of wood or molding it out of clay.

The Mirror of Galadriel by Alan Lee

The Athame

The Athame is a tool similar to the Wand and sometimes, depending on the Wiccan tradition, it is used in the same way to charge and consecrate objects and to direct the Witches energy during rituals and spellcasting. Most often it is used to cast circles of protection and banish negative energy. It is also a tool of the element of Fire or sometimes Air as is the Wand.

Traditionally the Athame is a double bladed ritual dagger or small sword with a black handle. The handle can be inscribed with symbols and sigils to link it to the Witch who uses it and therefore personalize it to the energy of the Witch. Sometimes the Athame handle can be purple and yellow to consecrate it as a tool of Air and therefore focus it on the subconscious power. The blade can be iron, wood, copper, obsidian, stone or glass, depending on the Witches traditions and use.

As it is mostly a ritual dagger, it is not used to cut anything but energy, it is often dulled to prevent injury to the user. It is however known to be used to cut the cake at hand-fasting ceremonies. It is a huge faux pas to touch another Witches Athame, as it takes on energy and it is said to be used as a way to drain magickal powers and capable of killing Witches and other Magick folk. Sometimes the Athame can be used to obtain blood for special Bloodmagick spells.

The origin of the term Athame is most often attributed to the Latin “Artavus” meaning quill knife, a small knife used to sharpen feathers to make pens for the scribes. However it is possible it stems from the Arabic term “Al-Dhamme`” meaning blood-letter, a ritualistic cult knife used in medieval Morocco and Andalusia, or “Al-Thame” and translates to the Arrow.

In the Wiccan tradition the Athame is a masculine principal and therefore linked to the God and used in Elemental Rites most often with the Chalice, it’s feminine opposite. In this case you will find it on the altar, but if you do not follow the Wiccan faith, the Athame can be used for rituals and spells as you would a wand. In both cases, finding the perfect Athame for you may take some time and it will need cleansing and blessing.

March Worm Moon

“As the temperature begins to warm and thaw,
the earthworms herald the return of Spring, Robin and Crow…”

This moon is also called Crow Moon or Crust Moon as the snow cover becomes crusted from freezing and thawing between night and day. The therm Sap Moon also applies, as it was time to tap the Maple trees or Lenten Moon, as settlers considered it the last of the Winter Moons. Other names are Ash Moon, Storm Moon and Moon of the Winds.

The Worm Moon is widely considered the final moon of winter, unless it falls after the Spring Equinox. This year it will be on March 7th 2023and falls most definitely in the end of Winter period. The new Spring season is upon us and with it new life, excitement and the feeling of renewal. As the days continue to get brighter and longer, earthworms begin to make an appearance as the soil warms and softens. Fresh buds appear on trees, shrubs and the first timid flowers emerge.

March energy is about growth, prosperity and fruitfulness. Plant the seeds, physically and metaphysically) for what you want to reap later in the year. Clear out and cleanse your space to clear away blockages and negativity that could keep your seeds from sprouting/manifesting.

Take a look at your financial goals, create balance in your life, connect with the Earth and make room for new growth, abundance and inspiration.

Work on luck and money spells, grounding yourself and realigning your aura and chakras, clensing and healing spells. Some divination work to help opening the way for ideas and new creations to come trough.

Correspondences are: green, yellow, lavender, Thyme, High John, Bethony, Bloodstone, Aquamarine. Element WATER

The Pentacle

A round solid disc made from stone, wood or metal, with a personal symbol of Magick (often a pentagram) carved or drawn onto it.

The pentacle (from the french word ‘pentacol’ or ‘pendacol,’ a jewel or ornament worn around the neck; from pend- hang, à to, col or cou neck) is a magical talisman inscribed with any symbol or character that has magickal connotation and power for the Witch using it. Unfortunately thanks to a mistranslation, due to the prefix ‘pent’ being connected to the Greek “pente”-five and the preferred use of the five pointed star on such pentacles, it has become synonymous with it in the 19th century. However a pentacle is not a pentagram nor does it have to have a pentagram on it at all to be a pentacle.

In many old grimoires dealing with magical evocation, the pentacle is described as being hung about the neck, providing protection and authority to the operator. In ancient times the pentacle was used to call and bind spirits during evocations, therefore it is also a tool to cross the veil and thus to be handled with care. For this reason pentacles are often used as amulets and talismans in small sizes and lend themselves perfectly for such spells as invocations/evocations, protection, consecration and healing.

The pentacle is a tool of the element Earth. It is used to consecrate or charge such things as amulets or charms when placed on top of the pentacle at the center of the altar, as well as the blessing of salt and water. For this reason the pentacle can also be much larger in size and used solely for the altar in that case. Again the design or inscriptions for the pentacle can be any magickal symbol of her choosing for such work. The larger size will make it easier to place items to charge or bless on top and it can serve for spells and other rituals if needed.

A Witch can have various pentacles for different uses in her Craft and each will feature the inscription or symbol she designates to its need. Often the Witch will design her own symbol or sigil for it, but it can be anything that has a magickal meaning to you for it to work. There is a great opportunity for you to create something unique for yourself if you are artistically inclined or know your way around a workshop and are not afraid to try something new. The choice of material and size can open up quite an array of possibilities and there is an endless selection of embellishments to make the pentacle a one of a kind piece. The link between you and a handcrafted pentacle will be very strong and will serve your Magick well.

The Wand

The Wand is probably the most personal tool of any practitioner of Magick and most recognizable instrument wielded by Witches, Wizards and any Magick folk.

A Witch doesn’t really need any tools to use her power, but some tools give her a better way to direct that power to be more accurate and precise. One of these tools is the Wand. It is known by many names, staff, stang, scepter, magick stick, caduceus, baton…

The Wand is a tool of the element of Fire or Air. The Wand channels a Witch’s power and abilities.

Traditionally they are used for invocation and charging of objects, to bestow blessings and evoke the Gods. Wands can be used for a variety of rituals and celebrations, to protect and transform, do charm work and sigils and many other uses.

The history of Wands has it’s roots all the way back to early man, in the staff of shamans, as scepters of power for leaders of the community. Kings and Queens have been depicted wearing the Scepter and the Orb as their symbols of power since the Middle Ages. The Scepter or Wand is a symbol of temporal power, of good governance, it was the symbol of royalty and sovereignty. While the Orb was the symbol of “Godly” power, to remind that the divine was ruling thru the body of the sovereign. I believe that the Orb is derived from the practice of Chrystal Gazing to “See” the future and/or the will of the divine…

Wands can be made from various kinds of wood, bone, glass, crystal or metals, or combinations thereof. Each will give the Wand specific properties, also Wands can contain a Core Substance like Unicorn Hair, Phoenix Feather or cores from other magickal materials/creatures, each imbuing the Wand with unique attributes that will bond with the Witches traits. Wand-cores can also be loaded with herbs and earth from special places. A Witch may decide to purchase a Wand from a Wandmaker or make her own, either way Wands can still be personalized further, by adding sigils and symbols, crystals, feathers…

A Wands length and flexibility is also another factor to take into consideration, they are as unique as the Witches who own them.

"The wand chooses the Wizard.
That much has always been clear to those of us who have studied wandlore...
If you are any Wizard at all you will be able to channel your Magick through almost any instrument. The best results, however, must always come where there is the strongest affinity between Wizard and wand. These connections are complex. An initial attraction, and then a mutual quest for experience, the wand learning from the Wizard, the Wizard from the wand.” Mr Olivander

Wands are powerful magickal objects, capable of few thoughts and even feelings. When a Witch gets her first Wand it is for life and a deep connection is formed. The precise reasons for which particular Wands choose particular Witches is not clear, but the Wand seems to have a natural affinity to the Witch, just as a Witch that crafts her own Wand is drawn to the material/tree she chooses to make the Wand with. If you need to harvest a branch of a living tree or bush, make sure you ask for permission and leave a token in payment (a hair, penny, flower, drink/food) to the tree or spirit of the land.

If you are buying a wand make sure you spend time in deciding, sometimes you will be immediately drawn to one particular wand and even if you look at others you may come back to the one that you saw first. The Wand will call you to it, so follow that instinct to be sure that you and your wand will work well together.

Another interesting fact about Wands is that they can be “won” away from their original owners by overpowering or defeating its master. Most Wands are fiercely loyal and are not easily swayed to change their allegiance, and some retain a measure of fealty to the original owner even after they are won. The only exception to this we know of, is the Elder Wand, which is “completely unsentimental” and will only be loyal to strength. In other words, when won, it switches its allegiance entirely.

Wands can be of any length, even a staff is still a wand, some traditions have a Stang, a staff that is forked at the top to hold a candle or crystal or other tokens of power. It all depends on the Witch or Wizard, the kind of Magick and Craft they practice and what affinities they have to certain things or ways. All that factors in to the kind of wand that will be coming your way. Treat it well and it will repay you in kind.

Personal tools of a Witch

Whether you look at a fairy tale, folklore or history, every Witch has her special magickal tools, a Magick wand, a broom, a scepter, pointed hat or staff.

We are all different and all of our Witchcraft practices are different. We all have our favorite magickal items. Therefore, it is no surprise that there are specific traditional Witches tools. Some might not be what you expect, while others are rather obvious. Whatever a Witch needs is often right at her fingertips, including easy-to-acquire tools that only require a quick trip to the garden, forest, or village. Most of the traditional Witches tools were homemade or traded for and were used for multiple purposes (such as the cauldron and the broom.) While other magickal tools took more work or special trips to acquire.

There are some tools that are “linked” to the Witch, by her aura and energy and have to be chosen or come to the Witch as she travels. Some tools need to be cleansed and embellished as the Witch imparts her own power and those are what I call personal tools. They are as personal as the path the Witch chooses and each tool will have the Witches personal imprint, therefore it is very important that no one touches or uses those tools but the Witch they are linked to, or they may not work as well as they are meant to.

“My mind is my Weapon… and a mind needs books
as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep it’s edge.”

Tyrion Lannister

Obviously there is one tool that can only be wield by one Witch, her Mind, and it is the most important tool of them all. The power of a Witch lies within her mind and therefore the more you know, the more powerful you become. All other tools will only enhance what you already have, they can not give you Magick or power if you don’t find it within. That is what makes you a Witch and not a Muggle…

The second most important tool of a Witch is her Book of Shadows; it holds her story and her path and everything that is connected to her. Every Witch should write her own or at least collect the information pertaining to her in a box, file, folder etc. The Book of Shadows or Grimoire is her companion, teacher and keeper of secrets. It is the cornerstone on which she builds her Magick. A Book of Shadows can be a simple notebook or work of art, physical or virtual, it is as individual as the Witch. You decide what to put into it and how you structure it. It can be one book or several. If you want to learn more about the Book of Shadows, follow the course on my blog, the links to each lesson are on the right hand sidebar.

All other tools are determined by who the Witch is and how she practices her Craft, so what you will use for your needs might not be what others use and vice-versa. You decide or choose your tools and how important they are to you. The first thing to consider is the type of Witchcraft you follow, a Cottage Witch will put a different emphasis on a certain tool than a Sea Witch or Cosmic Witch will, while other tools might be very similar in their status.

Over my years of practicing the Craft I have found that you have a greater link to a tool that you make yourself, then to one that you buy in a shop. This usually happens, because the act of making your tool involves you having to source the material/s and build or fabricate the tool. In the process you imbue the tool with your energy and aura, your powers will flow through it and charge it while you work on it. This is a very powerful process and should not be overlooked.

Obviously you can’t be expected to make everything yourself all of the time, we may not have the skills or time. The one thing you can do to make your tool yours and link to it is cleansing it after you get it and if possible, embellish it, or put your own personal stamp on it in some way. For example, I had my wand made by a Wandmaker, to the specifications I received on Pottermore, where I was chosen by this wand. Once I got it, I cleansed it from the Wandmakers energy and I spend a little time with the wand to get used to it. I got used to its wood and how it felt in my hand and how it moves and it got used to how I wield it and the warmth of my touch. I took it everywhere with me and I only did one thing to it as embellishment, I added one small crystal to its top. So you see, it does not matter how you get your tools, but how you make them yours.

In this series I will feature a few, that have generally a bigger impact for a Witch than the regular tools, and need to be made, found, bought and initiated by the Witch to be dedicated to her and her alone.

Art of Jadzia Naida Black

Moon Halo

The Moon Ring, or Moon Halo, is an optical phenomenon that belongs to the family of ice-crystal halos. Its form is a ring with an apparent radius of approximately 22° around the Moon, they are created when moonlight is refracted & reflected through millions of hexagonal ice crystals in the upper layers of the Cirrus Clouds.

Lunar Halos are represented throughout history as signifying a person, an event or an experience as being Holy or exuding a Divine Majesty. Thus also called “the Eye of God”. To witness a Lunar Halo, is to experience a moment of Spiritual Insight, a window into the Divine, it is a reverent experience.

The Soul in that moment is being guided to what is possible when you engage with your heart energy and follow your dreams. The frequency of a 22° halo makes the impossible possible through the heavenly auric flow of the Divine through you. All you need do is BELIEVE in yourself and dream-weave your heartfelt visions into the physical world.

Folklore tells us that a Winters Halo foretells of approaching storms, timelines collapsing, radiant new beginnings, opening of new doorways and future potentials being crystallized. The Eye is also a sign of a thinning of the veil between the worlds.

I experienced this beautiful anomaly on the eve of my late mothers birthday, back in 2020, and I felt the magickal energy of “someone looking down to me…” It was a very profound moment that mesmerized me and froze me in contemplation. I felt a presence, a benevolent guardian demanding my attention, I could not tear my gaze away from the beautiful aura and I experienced a deep peace and feeling of renewal of things to come. That particular full moon was also the Wolf Moon of that year and the most powerful of the Esbats, so I was especially conscious of the rare phenomenon, as I had never seen one before and did a lot of research about it right after experiencing it. I still remember the feeling of it every time I think about it.

February Snow Moon

“The snow falls quiet to the ground and buries everything deep all around…”

This moon is sometimes referred to as the Hunger Moon since harsh weather conditions make hunting very difficult. Rowan Moon, Quickening Moon and Ice Moon.

February’s energy signature is all about love, self-love and self-care. Focus on goals for personal development, meditation and astral travel. Creating or revitalizing your self-care routine, both physical and mental, should be first on the list for this month, check in on your emotional and spiritual well-being, to cleanse and rejuvenate your energy and powers and be ready to move into the rest of the year.

Take responsibility for any mistakes of the past and purify your blockages, clean the home and all spaces around you as well as your own person and get your energy flowing with positive vibes. Rededicate time to your passions and see if any are ready to be developed into something more or something new.

Take a Goddess bath, make plans for the future, bless your seeds for the spring season, take this time for yourself and build your reserves.

Correspondences are: purple, blue, Hyssop, Sage, Myrrh, Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Jasper. 
Element FIRE

Blessed Be,